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Clearing 2020 - Careers

Guide to University Clearing 2020

With A Level results day coming up on 13 August, it is a nerve-wracking time for those of you waiting to find out if you have bagged a place at university.  It is also a worrying time for anyone whose plans have changed and now find themselves considering university as an alternative to their original plans for Autumn 2020. 

It’s good to know that there are other options available through the Clearing system should you find yourself without the offer of a place on results day, or find yourself unable to take a planned gap year or find a suitable apprenticeship due to Covid-19. 

The clearing service runs between July and September each year and is open NOW!   

It allows students who have made a university application via UCAS to find an alternative course in any of the following situations: 

  • You didn’t get offered a place from either your first choice (firm) University or from your second choice (insurance) University on results day. 
  • You didn’t receive an offer from any of the Universities you applied to on your original UCAS application. 
  • You made a late application to UCAS after 30 June. 
  • You wish to “self-release” from your offers into the Clearing system. 
  • You haven't made an application to any universities at all, but now want to start a degree course this September.

It’s a system which matches students who want a place, to universities that have places available so is beneficial to both parties.  With university application rates down this year, you will find that even top-rated institutions will have clearing places available – last year Leeds, York, Exeter and Surrey Universities (to name a few) were offering places through Clearing. 

Things to remember if you do need to use clearing: 

  • Be available on results day – it’s best not to be away on holiday. 
  • Check UCAS Track and university websites for the official clearing lists. 
  • You can only make one clearing choice at a time. 
  • You have to find a university that will accept you – they will be more impressed if you make the telephone calls and don’t have someone calling on your behalf!
  • Plan ahead.  Research uni’s you might choose through clearing beforehand – what is their accommodation policy for students coming to them through clearing?  Do they offer the right course for you? Keep a list in order of preference. Sign up to their Twitter and Facebook accounts for more information. They may be offering virtual visits or webinars with current students this year due to Covid-19– check the websites of the universities you are interested in. 

Our 3 top tips – Start early, be flexible, don’t give up! 

A huge amount of information is available online about clearing and these websites are very useful for further reading, advice and tips: 

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